President’s J&K order has become fait accompli, says government in Supreme Court

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan counters that August 5 saw a State dismembered

The government on Thursday said the President’s order of August 5, abrogating the special rights of Kashmiri people under Article 370, has become fait accompli.

The government urged the court to not entertain any “separatist” arguments during the hearing of petitions challenging the order and the subsequent bifurcation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories.

The five-judge Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana reserved orders on the preliminary plea that the issue should be referred to a larger Bench.

The government opposed the plea for reference of the case to a larger Bench. Certain petitioners had sought a reference, claiming that two judgments of the apex court - Prem Nath Kaul versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1970 -- which considered Article 370 were in conflict with each other.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted that the August 5 notification and the reorganisation of the State of J&K need to be accepted.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan countered that the court should indeed enquire into the 'Hand of God' that took away the “custodianship” of J&K on August 5. He also objected to referring the case to a larger Bench.

In the day-long hearing, the government side strongly argued that the accession of J&K was irrevocable. J&K was part of history of integration of States. Its sovereignty was only temporary. “We are a Union of States,”Mr. Venugopal submitted.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said political arguments should not be made in court by petitioners.

Mr. Dhavan, however, contended that August 5 saw a State dismembered. A State was devoured by the power of the Union. If the procedure for abrogation was not followed, the action of the Union government was susceptible to judicial review. The State government’s concurrence was not taken for the modification made in the fundamental nature and governance of J&K.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:36:12 PM |

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